Preview: Paperworld 2018

At a time when tradeshow fatigue is not uncommon, Paperworld organiser Messe Frankfurt is trying hard to inject new impulses and creativity into the event.


Paperworld returns to Frankfurt, Germany, from 27-30 January 2018. It’s a non-Plaza year this time, meaning that both exhibitor and visitor numbers are likely to be lower than during Plaza years. However, event organiser Messe Frankfurt is confident that, with its wide-ranging complementary programme, Paperworld will remain the go-to event for the global stationery industry. 

As Paperworld Director Michael Reichhold says: “We are investing in a very varied, high-quality supplementary programme in order to establish Paperworld’s position as a networking and training platform, and to give the sector new impulses and bring supply and demand even closer together.” 

Easy navigation

Like last year, the fair has been divided into two main broad areas – the B2B-focused ‘visionary office’ which encompasses commercial supplies and equipment, and ‘stationery trends’ with more of a B2C emphasis and products in the area of school, giving, writing and lifestyle. This set-up, Messe Frankfurt says, will make it easier for trade visitors to navigate their way around the 1,500+ expected exhibitors across the fair’s eight halls.

The visionary office, which includes the Future Office (see ‘Back to the Future’, right), broadly-speaking showcases categories that make up the workplace of tomorrow. Here, visitors can find a selection of cutting-edge products and innovations, including appliances and furniture, organisational resources and presentation aids, stationery, writing and drawing tools, computer and printer accessories, and recycled printer supplies. 

On that latter point, during the four-day Remcon seminars in Hall 6.0 which form part of Remanexpo, visitors can also find out about the latest developments in the area of recycled printer supplies and hardcopy components. 

For fresh ideas and a few more unconventional products, visitors can check out the BMWi promotional area in Hall 6.1 where young start-up companies will be showcasing what’s new and innovative in the paper, office supplies and stationery sector.

The annual Trend Show – which has become a major platform for the exchange of ideas, information and style among Paperworld visitors – will also showcase some of the top trends in the world of stationery, divided into three key approaches to common lifestyle and workplace designs that are ‘hot’ in the sector right now. Exhibitors will be able to use the space’s interactive area to show off their latest innovations and guided tours will allow attendees to fully experience what’s on offer. 

Sustainable Office Day

The last day of Paperworld 2018 marks Sustainable Office Day during which the organisers are hosting a series of lectures and discussion panels, with experts providing insights into the latest developments of workplace sustainability and environmentally-friendly procurement. 

As always, Paperworld features a number of award ceremonies, highlighting the Product of the Year, Industry Personality of the Year, Specialist Retailer of the Year, and the ISPA Award (organised by the International Stationery Press Association). As part of the Sustainable Office Day, there will also be an Office & Environment awards ceremony, while the Recycler Awards will be presented to chosen industry representatives following the Remcon seminars.

For an interview with Paperworld Director Michael Reichhold, look out for the February issue of OPI.

Back to the Future

Visitors to Paperworld 2018 can look forward to finding out more about the healthy workplace as its special exhibition Future Office returns.

After the popularity of last year, the organisers have once again dedicated Hall 3.0 to the exploration of the trends and technologies that are expected to shape the world of work. This time round, the Future Office will take an in-depth look specifically at health and well-being in the office, a hot topic right now, with many employers increasingly realising the benefits of looking after their employees.  

Big concepts 

According to the German Federal Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, employees take around 15 days a year off sick on average– and the figure is rising. Research has found that a healthy, safe workplace with opportunities for personalisation and the ability to withdraw to a quiet space are crucially important in order to maintain motivation and productivity among staff, and reduce absences.

“It is an area where companies need to act,” comments Reichhold. “That is why employers are increasingly investing in the management of employee well-being. But often these are big concepts that seem difficult and daunting to apply. By way of helping with this, Paperworld’s Future Office imagines what all these innovations and trends might look like when put into practice in a real-world scenario.”

He adds: “We are putting emphasis on this important topic and will be presenting some solutions. There will certainly be lots of new discoveries for visitors, be it in the special show itself or in the expert lectures and guided tours.”

On arrival to the Future Office, visitors will first walk through the ‘bad office’, an example of a typical, crowded, noisy and uncomfortable workplace. Following a pathway, they will then be led through the six areas that represent solutions to this ‘bad’ environment: space, furniture, catering, working practices, staff, and tasks.

Hands-on experience

Visitors will have the opportunity try out ergonomic seating arrangements and find information about biorhythms and the quality of meals; they can also experience the tranquil atmosphere of the quiet areas. After that, they can discuss their new impressions in the so-called café display. Each individual section in the Future Office will feature acoustic and lighting effects to simulate the space in action.

New for 2018 is an exhibition area within the space to allow brand manufacturers to showcase the latest in health-conscious, user-friendly furniture and accessories. Delegates can experience the designs first hand and see them in a simulated office environment. Exhibiting manufacturers for 2018 include: Active Office, Agoraphil, Archyi, Casio, Durable Hunke & Jochheim, Fellowes, Ideal, Legamaster, Magnetoplan, Jakob Maul, Novus Dahle, Pelikan, Sigel, tesa and Wilkhahn.

The concept for the Future Office is once again in the hands of architect André Schmidt who says: “The design [of the Future Office] is based on the idea that you only become aware of the negative factors when you use the office on an everyday basis. That is why the central point is the ‘Bad Office’, where life is loud, crowded, hectic and uncomfortable.”